Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Not Your Typical Bride

Dear Friends,

One month has passed since David and I exchanged our vows, and I think it is time for me to write about what happened.   How did a girl-who-never-imagined-herself-getting-married become a girl-who-actually-got-married in a span of less than one year?

No, it was not arranged marriage. And no, I definitely did not get pregnant. 

Earlier this year, I attended a women’s conference and one of my girlfriends asked when I would be getting married.  You see, I have been with David for the past eight years of my life.  And this friend of mine, echoed the question I had been asked a lot of times.  As usual, my answer was, “No, I still cannot imagine myself getting married.  There’s still so much I want to do.”

Then normally, there were the follow-up questions, “Do you love David?”  “Do you see being with him in the future?”  “Why don’t you want to get married?  So many women want to get married.”  I would reply, “Yes I do love him.  I cannot imagine myself with someone else, but it’s just that I’ve never pictured marriage in my dreams.  I never even daydreamed of getting married, or having children.  I don’t even have a dream wedding.”  Some of my friends and relatives would look at me in a weird way after that.


My birthday came a few weeks later on April 2.  I had to work in the morning.  We had lunch by 1:30PM.  We were supposed to have dinner in the late afternoon at a fine dining restaurant on top of a building facing the sunset on the bay.  But I was too full from lunch, and I was craving for Starbucks.  So the fine dining plan got cancelled.  When we got to Starbucks, he was a bit more serious than his normal serious self. 

I had a gut feel that David wanted to propose.  I asked, “Are you trying to propose to me today?”  He was surprised, and did not deny it.  “Please, no,” I said.  “I am not yet ready to get married.”  He smiled and replied, “It’s okay, I will think of more ways to propose to you.  I will propose to you again and again even if it will take a hundred of times.” 

I felt quite sad; I knew something was wrong with me for not wanting to get married.  David is a great guy.  He is a God-fearing man.  He is loving & self-sacrificing, even my friends were amazed at his perseverance with me.  We love each other.  I just couldn’t pinpoint what the main problem was.


Less than a week later, David’s grandfather passed away.  There’s this certain Chinese tradition that states when a relative dies, you either get married within 100 days or after two years.  I prayed to God if it was His will for us to get married.

PRAYER (1).            For God to reveal to me why I don’t want to get married and help me be ready if it were His will.

PRAYER (2).            If it was in God’s will for me to get married within 100 days, these things would transpire:

PRAYER (2A)    My parents would prefer I get married within 100 days.

PRAYER (2B)    Allow most of my relatives and friends from abroad to come and attend my wedding.
PRAYER (2C)   Wedding preparations will be very smooth, like the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place and fit perfectly.  Weddings in the Philippines are planned years in advance, so to get married in three months would mean most suppliers have already been booked.  

In the next days, upon much reflection, God answered my prayers:

ANSWER TO PRAYER (1)   God revealed that I didn’t want to get married because of FEAR and SELFISHNESS

a. Fear of letting someone else enter permanently into my life, and I couldn’t get him out anymore.  I’ve read in books and watched in movies about certain relationships entering a vicious cycle of nagging and spattering, of being disrespectful and unloving, and I just wanted out of it. 

b. Fear that I might just ruin both our lives because I don’t know how to be a wife and a mother.  All my life, I have been busy with school, work, business and extracurricular activities.  I don’t have time, passion and skills to cook, clean, do laundry, organize home, beautify home, or do anything else in the house. 

C. My selfishness caused me to want to live for myself, and for my dreams.  I didn’t want to be slowed down by another person.   I didn’t want to share or give my life to another.

I realize getting married is a step of faith for me.  While praying, a verse popped into my head that says, anything that is done or not done outside of faith is sin (what was holding me back was fear and not faith).  I also realize that getting married would also teach and train me to be less selfish, to share, and to live for others.  And I guess, this is a good thing.


Ten days after the death of his grandfather, we had candle-lit dinner in a restaurant in Quezon City.  I was not prepared.  I was in my oversized shirt, jeggings and rubber shoes.  Other people there were in gowns and dresses.  I ate heartily.  When dessert came, there were words written in chocolate icing on the plate.  It read, “Shall we go on an adventure?” 

“Are you proposing to me again?” I asked with the brows closed together.  “I want us to go on an adventure together.. forever.” David answered.  I cried, not out of tears of joy.  "Fine," I said.  My tears welled up because I had to say goodbye to my single life. 

ANSWER TO PRAYER (2A) When I told my parents about David’s proposal the next day, they smiled and told me he already proposed to them beforehand .   Apparently, David scheduled a lunch date with my parents when I was out of the country a month before.  And they encouraged me to get married within 100 days.

ANSWER TO PRAYER (2B) Many of my relatives from USA, Canada, Singapore, and Taiwan would be able to come over.  Some had already made plans to come within the year even without the wedding.

ANSWER TO PRAYER (2C) We got to book my beautiful home church and a historical hotel for our wedding!  The Manila Hotel was established in 1912, the same year as Titanic sailed for the first time.  We also were able to get hold of the finest suppliers in the country as our events coordinator, wedding host, musicians, florists, videographer, photographer, events stylist, makeup artist, etc.   Our family and friends have also been extremely helpful in making the wedding beautiful and memorable!

Within three months, we were able to have prenup photo, prenup video, a beautifully designed church & venue, our wedding vows, and one fine day to remember for the rest of our lives.  Everything just fit perfectly together.  And I wasn’t stressed in the planning and during the wedding day itself!


For the past 2 decades, I had always been looking forward to the time I reach 30 years old.  It is, for me, a phenomenal age -- the age when Jesus began his ministry, when David became king of Israel, and when Joseph began to serve Pharaoh in Egypt.  I was always curious with what I’d be doing when I turn 30. 

This year I turned 30, and unexpectedly, I got married.  (Good thing it is to the love of my life).   Getting married, I guess, is part of God’s wonderful plan for me.  And I believe He has a purpose for me and for our marriage. 

Now that I’m married, I realize it’s not so bad after all.  Everyday has been a mini adventure.  We get to navigate through an unknown rugged path, discover interesting life lessons, and build up new skill sets along the way.  (Oh, if you only hear about how I learned to cook a cup of rice.  That's reserved for another post.)  

This is my story.

Yours truly,

Not your typical bride

P.S.  For the chapter one of our love story, read it here.

P.P.S.  If you would like to get a glimpse of our wedding, feel free to click the links below:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Carabao Fund

Ga (Jumarlyn Cadano) is a very sweet and gentle young lady who came from Dumaguete, “The City of Gentle People.” I remember when we were walking back home from a nearby mall, I was telling her about how I’d rather walk than ride in a car. She told me she felt the same way. She always has car sickness. Then, she told me about her bus ride from Bayawan (Negros Oriental) to Bacolod. She was with her sister and another companion in the bus. Her sister was seated a few rows behind Ga and her friend from the province. 

Ga and her friend decided to make a quick run to the nearest drug store and buy some biyahilo medicine. When they got back, the bus had already left them towing with it their money and luggage. 

With only loose change in their pockets, they decided to wait for the next bus to Bacolod. They did not eat nor drink the rest of the day. They entered the next bus without any money to pay the conductor, but they decided to still enter. They had nothing to risk anyway. When they reached the destination, the conductor asked for their money. And they told him the story. The conductor allowed them to leave and even gave them Php 20 for some food. They decided to buy water with the Php 10 pesos and a scrambled egg with the other Php 10. 

As Ga divided the egg between her and her companion, a couple of street children came near them and asked for some alms. Ga decided to share a portion of the egg with the little children before she had taken a bite of it. 

Two days ago, Ga received a call from her parents in Dumaguete that her older sister had a strange fever and couldn’t sleep all night. She was cold and coughing and her skin were sore. The parents brought her Ate to a public hospital, yet they said they didn’t have the facilities to treat her. They had no choice but to admit her in a private hospital. 

The Ate stayed there for two days. The dad had to sell their one and only carabao for Php 20,000. Their carabao was a very big help to his dad, whose sole occupation is farming. 

Her sister passed away just this morning. According to Ga, it was kidney failure. I hope that we can raise funds for their family. We cannot bring her sister back, but perhaps, we can help their family in the long-term. We can help them buy another carabao, a younger and healthier carabao, to help them plow the fields. 

If only a number of us is willing, we can offer a few hundreds, or a thousand peso to help their family. 

Please pray about it. If God has given you the burden to help the Cadano family financially, please go to any LBC branch and send your money to Ga’s father:


You may also hand it to me if we see each other, and I’ll pass it to Ga.  Let's help them because (1) we can, (2) it's God-glorifying.  Thanks and God Bless!